V. A. Kolesnikov is the author of the first manual on laboratory and field methods of root studies published in Moscow in 1962 in which he summarized his 40 years of experience and made a comparative study of research methods used in the U.S.S.R. and abroad.
Side by side with research V. A. Kolesnikov has lectured at agricultural colleges as head of departments of pomology—in Krasnodar from 1927 to 1931, in Simferopol from 1932 to 1950 and in Moscow since 1951. He received his doctorate in 1947 and was elected a corresponding member of the Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1959. Since 1952 V. A. Kolesnikov has attended all the International Horticultural Congresses.
The present book is part of a text book on fruit growing written for Soviet agricultural colleges by a team of staff members of the department of pomo logy at the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy. It was edited by V. A. Kolesnikov and published in Moscow in 1959. V. A. Kolesnikov himself wrote the chapters which form the present book. In 1964, when an English translation was suggested, he brought the original material upto date.
V. A. Kolesnikov was an undergraduate at the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow when he first became absorbed in the study of fruit tree roots. That was in 1920. Four years later he published the first results of his research. By then he had unearthed certain correlations in the growth of root systems. The most fruitful of these related to the average root length of seedlings which the young research worker found to be constant for each
species no matter what environment it grew in. Later on he used this root coefficient to develop a new and efficient method of root study—the so- called "free monolith" method, which is now extensively used in the U.S.S.R. and in some other countries. The author has also established that new root formation is always attended by the dying off of roots, a phenomenon which he termed root shedding. The investigations conducted by the author in Moscow Region, and in subsequent years in the Crimea and Krasnodar Territories enabled him to advance a number of cultural recommendations—on
under-tree ploughing, the application of fertilizers, the time of watering, etc..